Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

TESOL Journal


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.

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Last Page



In this article the author explores ways in which affinity spaces (Gee, 2004) can be adapted for English language instruction. Affinity spaces attract participants who enthusiastically share their passions, such as popular culture, video games, or literature. Researchers have found that affinity spaces contribute to improvements in reading (Steinkuehler, Compton‐Lilly, & King, 2010) and writing (Black, 2007) literacy of both native English speakers and English language learners. Previous research has explored applications of these spaces in language instruction, including incorporating topics from popular culture in courses and engaging students in online writing (Sauro & Sundmark, 2016). Other adaptations have used the online content of affinity spaces as materials for language analysis in the classroom (Thorne & Reinhardt, 2008). This article breaks down the characteristics of affinity spaces (Gee & Hayes, 2012) and proposes them as a framework aimed to harness the benefits of affinity spaces for English language classroom adaptation. These practical applications include student‐selected course activity topics, sharing student writing online, and taking on leadership roles in an online environment.